13 DECEMBER 2021


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Article from BTNews 13 DECEMBER 2021

Airbus v Qatar Airways

Airline challenged over A350 complaints.

Airbus has issued a strong statement regarding complaints by customer airline Qatar Airways concerning surface paint issues on his A350s.  Speaking at the London Aviation Club on Tuesday 31 November the airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker was vociferous in his commendation of the Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer. (See BTN 6 December.)

Airbus says that it is preparing for an independent legal assessment and is equally strident in its response.

“Safety is Airbus’ top priority,” it said in a statement. “The surface paint-related findings have been thoroughly assessed by Airbus and confirmed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as having no airworthiness impact on the A350 fleet.  The attempt by this customer (Qatar Airways) to misrepresent this specific topic as an airworthiness issue represents a threat to the international protocols on safety matters.”

The question of the pandemic is raised by Airbus: “The A350 is performing well in service with a 99.5% operational reliability and has proven to be a symbol of resilience in the Covid-19 crisis. It is enabling major airlines worldwide to restart international operations, reconnecting and uniting nations and continents again, as the world slowly emerges from the pandemic.”

Airbus says it wishes to clarify that EASA’s recent proposed corrective steps caused by areas of missing expanded copper foil (ECF) on the wings of 13 A350s as a result of a production process, which has since been adapted, is different in nature. The limited number of aircraft will be inspected as per EASA’s directive.



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Graham Greenwood, United Kingdom

I would suggest that 'commendation', should be replaced by 'condemnation'?